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The draft federal law " " contains solving the tasks, which were posed in the Presidential Address to the government agencies "to conduct a serious dialogue with the society", while securing the rights of citizens to objective information is contained in the draft Federal law "On provision of access to the information of activities of the government bodies and local governments". To ease administrative barriers, the Federal law was accepted "On introducing changes in the Federal law "On licensing individual types of activity", the Federal law "On protection of the rights of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs in conducting the state control (supervision)" and the RF Code of administrative law infringements", which provides for step-by-step abolishment of licensing of 49 types of activity and optimization of the procedure of licensing. An introduction of a simplified procedure of licensing on condition of concluding by an applicant of license (licensee) of the insurance agreement for civil responsibility or if he has a certificate of conformity for his activities according to international standards requirements, is new for the legislation on licensing.

In the ;sphere of taxation 2005 saw the following transformations. Gift and inheritance tax was abolished, as well as profits were exempted from taxation, received during donation in case the donator and donatory are family members and (or) close relatives in accordance with the Family Code of the RF (for the rest of categories of private individuals the rate of gift tax is established at 13 %). The laws had been accepted that relieve the tax burden to payers of income tax, that improve the administration of VAT and small business taxation.

Development of principles of budgeting, oriented to the result, was reflected in the resolutions of the government "On setting the provision of development, approval and implementation of the departmental target programs", "On approval of provision on the development of Consolidated report on the results and guidelines for actions of the RF government for 2006 - 2008".

To raise the efficiency of the government expenditures the Federal law was prepared "On placement of orders for delivery of goods, performance of activities, rendering services for government and municipal needs", related to ensuring the competitiveness and transparency of mechanisms of government procurements, increasing the effectiveness of state control for their carrying out. For the purpose of improvement of the mechanisms of government support of socially significant investment projects, the RF government approved the provision of the Investment Fund of the Russian Federation and the one of Governmental commission on investment nationwide projects. One of the main lines of implementation of investment policy in 2006 remains the mechanism of federal target programs, funded out of the federal budget, and the federal targeted investment program.

In order to improve the investment climate in 2005, the federal law were adopted "On special economic zones in the Russian federation", "On concessional agreements". In pursuance of the noted in the Address task on efficient attraction of capital to the national economy the Ministry of Finance of Russia prepared and finished, with account of proposals of the Expert Directorate of the RF President Administration, the bills, concerning simplified declaration of capitals of citizens, accumulated in the previous years.

In the sphere of the foreign economic activity tangible results in the negotiation process had been achieved in 2005, enabling to talk of passing of Russia to the closing stage in its joining to WTO. The negotiations with 42 countries have been completed, which share in the Russias commodity turnover exceeds 85%. Russia succeeded to reach the cancellation of 8 and prevent 14 restrictive measures concerning Russian products, implementation of a package of measures was being continued for the formation of the Common Economic Space.

It is emphasized in the report that the forecasted rates of economic growth do not ensure solving the task of GDP doubling. In 2005 vs. The previous year, the economic growth rates slowed down, which is determined by inefficiency of the model of growth, based on boosting the production and export of the energy resources. To ensure the growth of economy it is necessary to involve new, predominantly innovation and investment factors.

In 2005, in the fuel and energy complex it was observed lowering of the rates of extraction and production of the energy resources. The share of direct foreign investments in the gas industry is insignificant, and this to a certain degree is associated with the provisions of the legislation, which restricts attraction of foreign investments in the fixed assets of gas industry. The improvement of the situation in this regard will promote introducing changes in the Federal law "On gas supply" (have adopted by the State Duma in the first reading) and imminent liberalization of the OAO Gazprom stock market.

The annual rate of inflation is estimated roughly at 11%, which exceeds the target level established for 2005. The specified forecast of the Russias socio-economic development for 2006 it is provided for that the consumer inflation should make no more than 8,5%. To retain the target indicators with the planned inflation, it is provided for to take a package of antiinflationary measures in combination with the stimulation of raising the growth rates of supply of consumer goods and services.

Bolshakova E.A.

An overview of the economic laws and normative legal acts adopted in December In December, the following alterations were introduced in existing legislation: the percentage ratio between the rate of the part of the single social tax to be transferred to the RF Social Insurance Fund and the rate of the part thereof to be transferred to the Federal Fund for Mandatory Medical Insurance was changed; the size of student scholarships rose from 140 to 210 rubles; from 2006 onward, the lumpsum birth (or adoption) grant is increased to 8,000 rubles, and the benefit for the period of caring for a child until it reaches the age of one and a half year is increased to 700 rubles; from 2006 onward, the sum allocated as payment for providing the population with a package of social services was set at 477 rubles per month; the Regulations were approved which established the procedure for granting subsidies to cover the payments for housing and utilities and the procedure for their estimation, as well as the conditions under which the suspension or discontinuation of the said subsidies can be necessary;

the Central Bank approved the main directions of the uniform state monetary policy for the year 2006, and reduced the rate of refinancing to 12 percent per annum.

I. The Federal Laws of the Russian Federation 1. ON THE INTRODUCTION OF ALTERATIONS IN ARTICLE 241 OF PART TWO OF THE TAX CODE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, No 158-FZ of 06.12.2005.

The law enters into force from January 1, 2006, but not earlier than one month after the day of official publication.

The law introduces a change in the percentage ratio between the rates of the single social tax to be transferred to the RF Social Insurance Fund and that to be transferred to the Federal Fund for Mandatory Medical Insurance. The rate of the single social tax transferred to the RF Social Insurance Fund is reduced by 0.3 percent, while the rate of the single social tax transferred to the Federal Fund for Mandatory Medical Insurance is increased by 0.3 percent. The total rate of this tax will remain at 26 percent, but 2.9 percent thereof will be allocated to the RF Social Insurance Fund, and 1.1 percent to the Federal Fund for Mandatory Medical Insurance.

The operation of the present Federal Law is to cover the legal relations arising from January 1, onward.

2. ON THE INTRODUCTION OF AN ALTERATION IN ARTICLE 3 OF THE LAW OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION ON THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF A PAYMENT OF LABOR, No 177-FZ of 22.12.The law enters into force from January 1, 2006.

The size of scholarships to be paid to the students of federal state primary and secondary professional educational establishments, who receive instruction on full basis at the expense of the federal budget, is increased from 140 to 210 rubles.

3. ON THE INTRODUCTION OF AN ALTERATION IN ARTICLE 12 OF FEDERAL LAW ON STATE SUBSIDIES TO CITIZENS WITH CHILDREN, of 22.12.2005, No 178-FZ The law enters into force from January 1, 2006.

From January 1, 2006 onward, the lumpsum birth (or adoption) grant is paid in the amount of 8,rubles. The financing of the expenditures to cover the payment of the aforesaid grant will be effectuated at the expense of the funds of the federal budget and the RF Social Insurance Fund, in accordance with Article 4 of Federal Law On state subsidies to citizens with children of No 81-FZ 19.05.1995.

4. ON THE INTRODUCTION OF AN ALTERATION IN ARTICLE 15 OF FEDERAL LAW ON STATE SUBSIDIES TO CITIZENS WITH CHILDREN, of 22.12.2005, No 181-FZ The law enters into force from January 1, 2006.

From January 1, 2006 onward, the monthly benefit for the period of caring for after a child until it reaches the age of one and a half year is to be paid in the amount of 700 rubles (irrespective of the number of the children who are being cared for). The financing of the expenditures on the payment of the aforesaid state benefit will be effectuated at the expense of the funds of the federal budget and the budget of the RF Social Insurance Fund, in accordance with Article 4 of Federal Law On state subsidies to citizens with children No 81-FZ of 19.05.1995.

II. The decrees of the Government of the Russian Federation 1. ON THE ALTERATION OF THE SUM ALLOCATED AS PAYMENT FOR PROVIDING THE CITIZENS WITH A PACKAGE OF SOCIAL SERVICES (OR A SOCIAL SERVICE), No of 05.12.In accordance with Federal Law On state social assistance of 17.07.1999, the sum allocated as payment for providing the citizens with a package of social services (with taking into account the indexation coefficient of the basic part of labor pension) is set, from January 1, 2006, at 477 rubles per month per one citizen, including:

424 rubles to cover, in accordance with legislation on mandatory social insurance, the price of additional gratuitous medical assistance, including that which requires the provision of necessary medications on the basis of prescriptions issued by a physician (or a medical assistant), and the granting of a voucher for medical treatment at a sanatorium or health resort, if there exist medical indications for such treatment;

53 rubles to cover the price of free-of-charge travel by commuter trains and by intercity transport to the place where medical treatment is to be taken, and back.

2. ON THE GRANTING OF HOUSING AND UTILITIES SUBSIDIES, No 761 of 14.12.2005.

The decree establishes the Regulations concerning the procedure for granting housing-and-utilities subsidies, the procedure for estimating their amount and assessing the conditions for their suspension and discontinuation, the procedure for determining the composition of the family of a subsidy recipient, and for the calculation of the aggregate income of such a family, and also the peculiarities of subsidy granting to various categories of citizens. The subsidies are granted to citizens in the event when their expenses with regard to housing and utilities payments, calculated on the basis of regional standards for the normative floor space of a dwelling, which are used for calculating the amount of subsidies, and the magnitude of regional standards for the cost of public utilities, exceed the value corresponding to the maximum permissible share of citizens expenses on housing and utilities payments in the aggregate income of a family. At the same time, so far as the families with the average per capita income below the subsistence minimum are concerned, the maximum permissible share is reduced in accordance with the correction coefficient, which is equal to the ratio of the average per capita income of a family to the subsistence minimum. The size of subsidies granted to citizens prior to the entering into force of the present Decree must not be recalculated throughout the whole period for which the subsidies have been granted, except in the event when the size of subsidies is increased.

The Decrees of the RF Government On the performance of the experiment with the economic model for reforming the housing and utilities sector, No 490 of 01.07.2002, and On the granting of housing and utilities subsidies, No 444 of 30.08.2004, are declared null and void.

III. ORDERS, INSTRUCTIONS, AND REGULATIONS 1. THE MAIN DIRECTIONS OF THE COMMON STATE MONETARY POLICY FOR THE YEAR 2006 of the Central Bank of Russia The main directions of the common state monetary policy for the year 2006 have been developed in accordance with Article 45 of Federal Law No 86-FZ of 10.07.2002 On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (the Bank of Russia). They include the following sections: the principles of monetary policy; the peculiar features of the development of Russias economy and monetary policy in the year 2005; the scenarios of macroeconomic development in the year 2006; and the aims and instruments of monetary policy in the year 2006. The annex comprises the List of the Bank of Russias measures designed to upgrade the banking system and bank supervision in the year 2006, and the Plan of the Bank of Russias major measures designed to upgrade the banking system of the Russian Federation, bank supervision, the financial markets, and the payment system.

2. The telegram of the RF Central Bank ON THE INTEREST RATE OF REFINANCING AS ESTABLISHED FROM DECEMBER 26, 2005, No 1643-U of 23.12.2005, The Central Bank of Russia has reduced the rate of refinancing. From December 26, 2005 onward, the RF Central Banks rate of refinancing is set at 12 percent per annum.

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